DURBAN – The Gift of the Givers Foundation provided relief to uMngeni Local Municipality Zuzokuhle informal settlement residents on Wednesday.
The residents were victims of recent storms.
“Gift of the Givers provided food parcels, tents and mattresses to more than 100 beneficiaries,” the municipality said.
The organisation was accompanied by councillors and municipal officials who had been working to secure relief and help to rebuild.
“We are grateful as the uMngeni Municipality for all the assistance,” the municipality said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Martin Meyer said KZN Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Jomo Sibiya visited municipalities in Msunduzi and uMngeni following severe storm damage in several parts of the province.
Meyer said this was after informing both the mayor of Msunduzi and the district mayor of uMgungundlovu of his intention, and extending an invitation to them to accompany him.
However, no communication or invitation was forthcoming to uMngeni mayor Chris Pappas.
“In fact, it would seem that the MEC intended to visit this municipality without being accompanied by its elected government officials.
“Regrettably, it appears that MEC Sibiya is placing party politics ahead of the needs of KZN’s people. Certainly this latest move indicates that he is only willing to work with members of his own party and not with the elected representatives of municipalities, if they are not from the ANC,” Meyer said.
He said Sibiya’s visit to uMngeni was not aimed at assisting the residents of this municipality, and that it was merely an exercise in scoring political points.
“There are a number of KZN municipalities that are not governed by the ANC following the November 2021 elections. The MEC has a duty to show the same respect and dedication to them.
“The DA sincerely hopes that the side-lining of uMngeni representatives was a momentary oversight by the MEC and that we will soon see him working with all municipalities, whether they are governed by the ANC, IFP or the DA,” Meyer said.
In a statement, the department of Human Settlements and Public Works rejected any attempt to politicise the rollout of human settlements by any leader of society, including politicians across all political parties.
Sibiya singled out Pappas because he allegedly had embarked on a campaign to monopolise the municipality into his “No-Go-Area Fiefdom”, despite the fact that hundreds of families were without shelter.
“For the record, this morning (Wednesday) I received a bizarre telephone call from him questioning me why myself and the mayor of uMgungundlovu District visited ’his’ municipality to assess damaged houses without his permission.
“With the assistance of Meyer, they are trying to sow confusion with their statement which is laced with lies and fabrication.
“For the record, we wish to confirm that there were councillors from uMngeni during this visit,” Sibiya said.